Saturday, April 10, 2010

Trenton Anti-violence Rally (Photo's)

Photo's by Daryl Mikell Brooks

It was a full house at the "Stop the Violence" rally at Lighthouse Outreach Ministries on Bellevue Avenue.
The event was organized in the wake of the alleged gang rape of a 7-year-old girl in the troubled Rowan Towers apartment building on East State Street nearly two weeks ago.

Among the the speakers was Russell Simmons, The Peace Keepers, Father's & Men United For A Better Trenton, Mayor Doug Palmer, Bob Law and others.

7610: Biased Bow Wow.

From The Chicago Sum-Times…

‘Racist’ dog defended after attack

Gannet News

YONKERS, N.Y.—A dog said to have a tendency to bark at minorities is being called “racist”—a charge its owner, Paul Tocco, denies.

A year ago, the animal, Jenna, bit Andrew Owens, a black handyman at Valley Oil, a heating oil business that Tocco’s family runs.

Recently, the 58-year-old Owens “egged on” the barking dog, which was chained outside the business, police said.

Owens then pulled out a 9-inch folding knife and slashed the dog across the face, through the eye socket, police said.

He admitted to the crime and was charged with felony aggravated cruelty. In explaining the incident, Tocco first told a local reporter that the dog had it in for Owens—and other minorities, for that matter.

“The dog reacts to black people, Hispanics, anyone who is not white,” Tocco said. “She always barked at him [Owens]. He was well aware the dog didn’t like him, and he knew to stay away from her.”

Tocco is now backing off that statement, and several other people who know and love the 4-year-old canine have come to Jenna’s defense, saying she’s no racist and, in fact, has many black and Hispanic friends.

“All of my friends are minorities, and the dog has never attacked any of them,” said Richard Lopez, 20, a Hispanic who once lived with Tocco and helped take care of Jenna. “She wouldn’t harm a fly.”

Inner City School Has 100 Percent College Acceptance Rate

A Charter school in Chicago has found a winning formula for success for its all-male student body of African-American students.

An inner city Charter school in Chicago is earning props for having a perfect college acceptance rate in a city where the graduation rate for African-American boys is only about 40 percent.

The Urban Prep charter school says every single one of its African-American students — all boys — have been accepted to a four-year college program. What's more, just 4 percent of those seniors were reading at grade level as freshmen, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

So what's their secret?

For starters, the school has an extended school day adding up to a whopping 1,200 hours of class time each year, with a double period of English and mandatory extracurricular activities and public service. Founder and CEO Tim King says the school is founded on the four Rs: ritual, respect, responsibility and relationships.

But perhaps it's that final R that really helps push student performance the most. Faculty members, who are available by phone on nights and weekends, provide moral and emotional support to their students, many of whom have to deal with homelessness, family tensions and money problems. The school of about 450 students is in the violence-plagued Englewood neighborhood and many students have to cross gang territory every day.

"For us, it's not just about teaching new vocabulary words," King tells the Monitor. "We really do have to understand what is going on with this student outside school."

The school, which like most Charter schools is about 20 percent privately funded, also stands on formalities long lost in the public school system. Students are addressed formally, using their last name, and they wear coats and ties.

But the primary focus is on achievement, with college graduation (not just college admission) being the ultimate goal.

It's a winning formula. Last year, the school opened a campus in East Garfield Park — an African-American neighborhood on Chicago's West Side and this fall, it will open a third campus in the South Shore neighborhood.

By Darragh Worland

Polish President Lech Kaczynski Dies In Plane Crash In Russia

Lech Kaczynski, the president of Poland, died in a plane crash on Saturday in western Russia, along with 96 other people including his wife Maria. Read more on the tragic death of Lech Kaczynski below.

Lech Kaczynsk, 61, was headed to Russia to commemorate the murder 70 years ago of thousands of Polish officers, when his plane crashed.

Lech Kaczynsk and his wife Maria are among the 96 people that died when the plane crashed in thick fog in Russia this morning.

The governor of the Russian town of Smolensk confirmed there were no survivors from the Tupulov Tu-154 plane crash.

“The Polish presidential plane did not make it to the runway while landing. Tentative findings indicate that it hit the treetops and fell apart. Nobody has survived the disaster,” Smolensk governor Sergei Anufriev told the Russia 24 news channel.

The Polish government will have an emergency meeting later today. The head of the Polish army, the governor of the central bank and the head of the presidential administration were also on board the plane, as well as the families of other senior officials.

“The plane caught fire after the crash,” said a Polish foreign ministry spokesman. “Teams began attempting to pull out passengers from the badly damaged airplane.”

The pilot of the plane knew Smolensk airport was closed because of thick fog, and was given a choice of landing instead at either Moscow or Minsk. But he decided to land in Smolensk. The pilot reportedly made three unsuccessful attempts to land the plane before the plane fell apart on the fourth try.

Obama: Omission of slaves' history 'unacceptable'

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says Virginia's governor made "an unacceptable omission" when he proclaimed it Confederate History Month without mentioning slavery.

"I don't think you can understand the Confederacy and the Civil War unless you understand slavery," said Obama, the nation's first black president. First lady Michelle Obama is descended from a South Carolina slave.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell came under harsh criticism for issuing April's history month proclamation without any reference to slavery. The Republican governor at first defended his decree, saying it was intended to honor the Confederate sacrifice on Virginia soil and promote tourism. On Wednesday he apologized and added a paragraph condemning slavery, saying that leaving it out had been a "major omission."

Interviewed by ABC News on Thursday in Prague, Obama said the controversy was "a reminder that when we talk about issues like slavery that are so fraught with pain and emotion, that, you know, we'd better do so thinking through how this is going to affect a lot of people."

Southern GOP meeting wraps up 2012 'cattle call'

NEW ORLEANS — Southern Republican activists are wrapping up their three-day conference with a so-called straw poll on who should be the party's 2012 nominee.

Several potential candidates addressed the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

On tap for speeches Saturday were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

After the speeches, the 3,000-plus conference attendees cast their ballots.

Don't look for any great revelations. Traditionally, these straw polls say little about the eventual outcome.

MORNING CHICKS: Erykah+Mariah+Halle+FLOTUS+Toni

Erykah Badu isn’t a complete hardball when faced with major scrutiny. She met with reporters yesterday in Miami (pictured above) and appeared distraught by the recent drama her “Window Seat” video has caused. Our source at the meet-up tells us that a french reporter asked if she “learned anything about the American media” from her current issues.

Erykah asked the reporter how he felt and added, “being that your not from here?” The reporter commented that he’s French so nudity is just art to him. And Ms. Badu confessed she had began to doubt herself, but hearing those words made it all worth it. Interesting.

Jaheim ARRESTED For Drug Possession!

Well here’s one way to keep your name in the news. Or put it back in. R&B cat Jaheim (government name Jaheim Hoagland) was arrested last week for possession of marijuana. The weed was found in his car after he was pulled over for speeding. According to the report:

Jaheim Hoagland, 32, of Hillsborough was pulled over near Royce Brook Golf Course on March 28 for allegedly traveling 65 mph in a 35 mph zone and was then charged with possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle. Hillsborough Police reported that they could smell a strong odor of raw marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Hoagland gave police consent to search his vehicle after yelling at authorities, police said. During the search, Hillsborough Police allegedly noticed a small bud of marijuana underneath the driver’s seat. Police said they also observed several cigar wrappers, cigar shaving and cigar paper, which is consistent with marijuana use. Hoagland was also charged with speeding.

Ray J & Brandy Cover JET Magazine

Brandy and Ray J stopped by Lopez Tonight hosted by comedian/actor George Lopez for an interview and spoke about their new reality show ‘A Family Business.’ During the interview Ray J was asked if he would date Kim Kardashian again after her recent break-up with Reggie Bush. Brandy on the other hand was asked if she was dating rapper Flo Rida. Watch to see what they had to say.

‘A Family Business’ premieres Sunday, April 11 at 9:00 PM CST on VH1.

NJ Teachers Union “Jokes” About Governor’s Death

This from WCBS

A teachers union in New Jersey issued a memo that hinted at the death of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

The Record of Bergen County obtained the Bergen County Education Association memo that includes a closing prayer:
“Dear Lord this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.”

Association president Joe Coppola says the “prayer” was a joke and was never meant to be made public.

Those wacky teachers! Wow, they SLAY me! The “joke” was shared with 17,000 union members. These are the people teaching our kids. Sad.

Didn’t we just have the media up in arms over calls to congressmen and women over the health care vote? Someone wake up Ann Curry, who was apoplectic over targets on a map.

The union apologized for the memo…AFTER it went public, of course.

Outside of failed joke-telling 101, there is another important lesson here: nobody, not even New Jersey, the state with the highest taxes, can appease Big Education and give them everything they demand. If you ever needed a perfect example that we can’t tax our way out of this mess, look at New Jersey. Even they can’t give public education and the teachers unions everything they want and if you can’t tax something there, you can’t tax it anywhere (with apologies to Fred Ebb).

Tax-happy New Jersey cut university funding $173M. New Jersey is also getting wage freezes from school districts. The cuts, by the way, started with Gov Christie’s Dem predecessor Gov. Corzine. It’s the economy, stupid.

One would think this would give the media reason to question their “Republicans are anti-education” mantra. However with public school teachers editorializing at two newspapers and the blog remnant of another listening to a Democrat activist spokeswoman at the so-called “non partisan coalition” Arizona Education Network and taking to the airwaves on a weekly roundtable discussion from a televsion station at a public university, don’t hold your breath.

Written by Ro Chambeau

Future Pope Stalled Pedophile Case For The “Good Of The Universal Church”

Pope Benedict XVI was hesitant to take action against a priest with a record of molesting young boys for the “good of the universal church,” according to a letter with his signature from 1985.

The correspondence, obtained by The Associated Press, is the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican’s insistence that Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests during his years as head of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal watchdog office.

The letter, signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was typed in Latin and is part of years of correspondence between the diocese of Oakland and the Vatican about the proposed defrocking of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle, who pleaded no contest to misdemeanors involving child molestation in 1978.

The Vatican has confirmed the future Pope’s signature on the letter, and that such a letter was typical in such cases.

The diocese recommended removing Kiesle (KEEZ’-lee) from the priesthood in 1981, the year Ratzinger was appointed to head the Vatican office that shared responsibility for disciplining abusive priests.

The future pope also noted that any decision to defrock Kiesle must take into account the “good of the universal church” and the “detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke within the community of Christ’s faithful, particularly considering the young age.” Kiesle was 38 at the time.

Kiesle had been sentenced in 1978 to three years’ probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct for tying up and molesting two young boys in a San Francisco Bay area church rectory.

Kiesle was finally laicized in 1987.

Kiesle, who married after leaving the priesthood, was arrested and charged in 2002 with 13 counts of child molestation from the 1970s. All but two were thrown out after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a California law extending the statute of limitations.

He pleaded no contest in 2004 to a felony for molesting a young girl in his Truckee home in 1995 and was sentenced to six years in state prison.

Kiesle, now 63 and a registered sex offender, lives in a Walnut Creek gated community, according to his address listed on the Megan’s Law sex registry. An AP reporter was turned away when attempting to reach him for comment.

Posted in Liberaland by Alan

Aging diamond thieves held in alleged bank plot

CHICAGO — Two men convicted of stealing the 45-carat Marlborough Diamond in a $3.6 million daylight robbery in London 30 years ago have been arrested on charges of scheming to rob a suburban Chicago bank.

Seventy-three-year old Joseph "Jerry" Scalise and 71-year-old Arthur Rachel were arrested Thursday, along with 69-year-old Robert Pullia. Authorities claim the men planned to rob the First National Bank of LaGrange.

The men appeared Friday before Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan, who set a bond hearing for Wednesday. Defense attorney Terence P. Gillespie told reporters all three would plead not guilty.

Scalise and Rachel were convicted in a British court of robbing Graff Jewelers in central London in 1980. They went to prison in 1984 and were released in 1993.

Russian leaders express condolences over tragic death of Polish president

MOSCOW, April 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has sent his condolences to acting President, Parliament speaker Bronislaw Komorowski on the tragic death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash on Saturday.